So I'm reading EAT PRAY LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert. I deliberately choose not to see the movie, at least until after I experience the book. Not that I have anything against Julia Roberts, but I doubt she can achieve what I need to experience. Yes, I love the book so far.
I've reached about the middle when she talks about people coming to the Ashram from all over the world for a week of silent medication. Now I don't know about you, but the flashes of silence I get in mediation are an incredible relief. My mind races, worries, constantly. My limbic system got wired for constant emergencies at my mother's knee. Literally. I would not say I'm good at silent meditation. I would say that I've been practicing for a very long time...since I started studying Wicca, actually. And I need a lot more practice. It does come easier in my late 40s than it did in my early thirties.
I've also done one short, silent meditation. I took a 24 hour period to go to The Snail's pace, in Saluda, NC the day before my third degree ceremony. It was awesome. I've been craving an opportunity to return and do it again, but have never found the right time. Funny how chosen silence brings out so much "stuff." I've had enforced silence, going up to four days at a time without speaking to another human being on a regular basis because my life had become so isolated. Nothing restful there. More like I was verging on insanity.
One little note of serendipity. As I made my way through the section where the author reconciled her losses in relationships, including her ex-husband and a boyfriend, I had my own moment today. I married a man when I turned 30 from India. While I had known him for five years, during which he pursued me relentlessly, I didn't know I had also married a psychopath...a dangerous story for another day. I got my own affirmation for good decisions today while reading about the reconciliations to the past. I received a notice that the condo my ex and I owned together was about to be auctioned off for unpaid taxes. I did some quick research and made a phone call or two. Turns out he's still a computer programmer, working for a company with world-wide name recognition. He's probably making $100,000 a year and hasn't paid an accumulated $3,000 tax debt. He kept our condo out of spite when we divorced because he knew he I wanted it. He's probably let it go to move himself and his Indian wife (arranged marriage) into his parent's condo across the street...and rather than pay the debt, characteristically let it go. He always said he didn't care about money. Actually, he did. But only for the power it gave him over others; he paid his parent's and brother's bills while letting his own go so that he could have power. Yep, I got the Universe's confirmation of good decisions on a day I needed to hear it...
I don't know about you, but keeping unconditional love for myself is hard. I certainly didn't have it this morning when I wailed about my shortcomings. I didn't have it for my wife when I got all impatient because she didn't "get it" the instant I thought she should. Or maybe I did. When the hurricane is gone, and we are left in comfortable silence, when we know our place in the universe and trust in the love we share with the people in our lives, and when my wife still loves me no matter what I twit I have been; maybe that is also sacred, blessed, and filled with grace.